Inspirational Women of Leawood

You may know her as your sister, your mom, your friend, your daughter. She is the woman who thinks of others first and strives to make a difference in the world around them, a woman who knows her true purpose with such confidence that she will influence generations to come by the example set forth. There are many inspirational women in our community, and here are just a few that we have the pleasure of introducing to you.

Kimberley Davis

Kimberley Davis, a Leawood resident, has dedicated 25 years to supporting high-risk, low-income families and their children, assisting homeless women with a history of chronic substance abuse and their children. As executive director of Amethyst Place, she is in charge of a highly innovative and successful approach to helping women with a history of chronic substance abuse and their children: intensive services with the unique feature of open-ended stays in fully furnished apartments.

Davis has worked with low-income families all of her professional life.

“At Amethyst Place, I am absolutely in awe of what it takes to recover from the abuse and neglect many of these women have suffered,” Davis says. “Add to that an addiction, and to overcome all of that, it’s the most incredible thing I’ve ever seen. The women who are in recovery, really in recovery, are some of the strongest women I’ve ever met. They feel good about themselves and are committed to creating a better life for their children. I’m honored to be a small part of that.”

She believes the success experienced at Amethyst Place is a result of believing in the women they serve. Barriers are removed that often make it impossible for these women to move forward with their lives.

Davis also cooks meals for Uplift, a not-for-profit with vans that go out into the city and feed homeless people and is also a volunteer at Operation Breakthrough.

Eva Reynolds

Andrea Thomas Ramsey

Andrea Ramsey is president and board chair of Turner House Children’s Clinic, a safety net clinic for children in Kansas City, Kansas. She has served on the board for the past eight years. Because of her leadership and passion for providing quality health care for underserved children, both of her children have been inspired to volunteer many hours at Turner House over the years.

Under Ramsey’s leadership, Turner House has expanded. It has partnered with the University of Kansas Health System to create the Wyandotte Community Health Center. The center is a partnership of three local safety net clinics, a refugee clinic and maternity clinics, operating together to expand access to high-quality medical, dental and behavioral health care.

“The work is tremendously rewarding,” Ramsey says. “I can actually see, in real time, the difference my volunteer work makes in the lives of our Kansas City community. What is better than that?”

Ramsey believes that “to those to whom much is given, much is expected.” She has gathered support for Turner House through her many community networks. Under the direction of Ramsey, many Leawood residents are now board members, committee members, generous donors, volunteers and friends of Turner House.

“I am humbled by the power of my Leawood neighbors’ social conscience and generosity of spirit,” she says.

Leawood Rotary partners with Turner House to provide sweat equity at the clinic, and has been a strong supporter of Turner House over the years. In turn, Ramsey volunteers with Leawood Rotary at Bishop Ward High School—which is very close to Turner House—in a mentoring program for college-bound juniors and seniors. Both she and her husband, Wil, have volunteered at Bishop Ward for years, proudly watching their students—many first-generation—graduate from the program and head off to college.

Ann Carter

Those close to Ann Carter describe her as unleashed enthusiasm that gives unselfishly to her family and community. She is an active member and volunteer of Church of the Resurrection and her efforts to help in any area of need is never a question. Carter is a lay leader for the Education Outreach Ministry, and her role is to coordinate the activities of the liaisons who represent the six schools in the urban core, through Kansas City Kansas, Kansas City, Missouri and Olathe school districts. The ministry provides backpacks of food for weekends for the kids, 150 tutors for students in need, vision programs, a bookmobile providing free books, visiting authors, school supplies, reading programs, behavior incentives and a whole host of other programs to support the staff and provide essential items for the students.

She is also part of a committee which directs over 500 volunteers in an outreach called Bless the School. For the last 11 years, this outreach has renovated an urban school, painting, cleaning and installing playgrounds.

Carter oversees a committee of 20 volunteers and drivers who provide food to homeless students through the Kansas City Missouri school district on a weekly basis. She has tutored at Hope Center for nine years and provides them with home-baked cookies for their Christmas parties.

“There are hundreds of people who make all these ministries possible. Without their support, none of this would happen,” Carter says. “If your gift is that of serving others, serve them well. Romans 12:7.”

She knows not a stranger and gives expecting nothing. She is a treasure to those who know her and to those who will wonder “who made that happen?”

Barbara Cusick

Barbara Cusick’s spirit of giving, volunteering and her dedicated leadership touches many lives through a wide variety of organizations. She gives many hours of service and leadership to better her community and those that live in it. She is a master relationship builder, sharing her enthusiasm and passion with conviction and dedication. Cusick supports youth development organizations, educational institutions, social service charities, medical missions and more. She always demonstrates a faith-filled sense of mission, a calling to serve others.

Cusick has been a patron, activist and leader in the Boy Scouts of America, Heart to Heart International, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Blue Valley Recreation. She has chaired many galas and led and supported successful fundraising campaigns for a variety of organizations including House of Hope, Kappa Kappa Gamma Sorority, Young Matrons Homes Tours and many others. Cusick serves on the Shawnee Mission Health Board of Trustees, the board of the Foundation for Shawnee Mission Medical Center and the board of directors of the American Asian Chamber of Commerce. She has previously served on the boards of Heart to Heart International and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

In 2014, she founded the Dr. J Douglas Cusick Medical Mission Endowment at the Foundation for Shawnee Mission Medical Center. The endowment funds medical missions, both surgical and primary care, including equipment, medications, supplies and scholarships for nurse participants and other Shawnee Mission Health associates.